Terpenes: More Than Just Flavors

September 18, 2017

Veedverks vape cartridges are made with terpene-infused CBD.  While the CBD is what gives our product its healing qualities, it's the terpenes that define what those qualities are.  Much like the cannabis plant itself, the terpenes will determine what effects cannabinoids will have when consumed.  

Terpenes are what is known as "adjuvants" in the pharmacological world.  Adjuvants are substances that, when added to a key agent, will enhance, subdue, or modify that agent.  They change how other ingredients behave.

Take two cannabis strains with equal cannabinoid profiles.  These two plants can contain equal concentrations of THC, CBD, CBC, CBG, CBN, and so on.  But one plant may contain a mix of indica-defining terpenes, and another may contain sativa-defining terpenes, and these terpene profiles alone would define whether the strain classifies as an indica or sativa.  The sativa strain my enhance your creativity, while the indica strain may help you sleep.

It is this same concept that we use in mixing our indica, sativa, and hybrid vape products.  While all contain an equal amount of cannabidiol (CBD), the indica contains a special blend of 12 terpenes, the sativa contains 15, and the hybrid contains 18.  These terpene profiles are defined by the terpenes found in the top indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis strains on the market.

So, what exactly are terpenes, anyway? Terpenes are the aromatic molecules that give cannabis its distinctive fragrance. They are responsible for the pleasant scents that we associate with plants in general, and are everywhere in nature. Terpenes are commonly referred to as essential oils. They are the aromas in aromatherapy. They are common in human diets and have all been recognized as safe by the FDA and other regulatory agencies. Terpenes are quite potent and affect human behavior when inhaled in even minuscule amounts.

Some examples of common terpenes include:

  • Pinene is the most common naturally occurring terpene and accounts for much of cannabis’s familiar odor. It is the main terpene in pine trees, which gives them their characteristic scent.  Therapeutically, it serves to reduce pain, slow bacterial growth, reduce inflammation, and even inhibit cancer cells.
  • Limonene is a dominant terpene in strains with a pronounced sativa effect. It is also found in the rinds of citrus fruits.  Limonene aids in the absorption of other terpenes through the skin and mucous membranes, and has been used to treat anxiety and depression.
  • Humulene contributes to the “hoppy” aroma of both cannabis and India pale ales, which makes sense, considering it is found abundantly in hops. It is also found in sage and ginger.  Though cannabis is commonly associated with appetite stimulation, humulene is actually known to suppress hunger.
  • Linalool is a naturally occurring terpene found in many flowers and spices including lavender and coriander. It gives off a complex yet delicate floral aroma, and while its effects are myriad, it is in particular one of the substances used most widely to reduce stress.  It is often used as a sleep aid, too, hence its higher concentration in indica strains of cannabis.

You may recognize the effect of terpenes in your daily life.  A brisk walk through a forest is surprisingly invigorating.  That's pinene at work.  A grapefruit in the morning starts your day?  Limonene.  That lavender lotion that helps you relax before bed?  Linalool.  These examples are just a small fraction of the myriad effects your body experiences through the smells and tastes brought on by terpenes, many of which you may never notice.

This brings us back to Veedverks and CBD.  The indica, sativa, and hybrid experiences are created by the 12-18 terpenes found in each mix.  We can create an invigorating sativa experience or a calming indica experience simply by following recipes Mother Nature has provided us in various cannabis strains.